I took a free workshop on the female condom the other day. I was surrounded by a variety of counseIors: at-risk youth, drug, women’s health, and others. I guess I should have seen it crouching in the corners of the workshop. It lurked in a chat I had with another woman about my recent post on Trojan Magnums and its trading on the Big Black Penis stereotype. She instantly defended said stereotype, almost to the point that she wouldn’t let me finish describing my post.
Then it sprang forth…unfortunately from the same woman defending the above-mentioned cliché.
“[The female condom] is only 6.5 inches,” she complained. “How is this going to accommodate an 8-inch penis?”
The facilitator said that the female condom is rather strong and has some elasticity. Also, she added, different self-identified women enjoy different sizes, which the condom can definitely accommodate.
It was another participant who wrestled the meme down. At least for that moment.
“Medically speaking, the vagina is, on average, about 6 inches long. When aroused the cervix can go up, which lengthens the vagina to about seven inches. A man longer physically than that can’t put his whole penis in, anyway.” (Go Ask Alice offers a similar explanation.)
The questioner became quiet, and the size issue scurried away—at least for that moment.
The equivalent of the Big Dick Braggart (BDB) is the Size Queen (SQ). This particular character claims that not only is bigger better, but that the Size Queen is a bigger and better person because s/he can “handle it,” whether it’s a 10-inch penis or a penis-shaped sex toy. If someone doesn’t like ‘em big…well, there’s just something wrong with that person, yes? And anything impeding the Size Queen from another opportunity to continue that claim—such as a female condom—well, there’s just something wrong with that product, yes?
Even though sexperts and other sexual-health advocates continue to state that some people of various gender identities may prefer different-sized dicks, it is cold comfort when the mass media loops the same message, “enormous is ecstatic,” again and again. Yes, some of us may dislike Sex and the City and really can’t stand Samantha, but part of her popularity is due to the fact that she’s the reigning pop-culture queen of the Size Queens.
And, like the Big Dick Braggart, the Size Queen is striped with some ugly racialized stereotypes, namely that the only type such a person would want to have sex with is—you guessed it—a black man. I have heard some self-identified women and men of different races imply their SQ status by saying that they “only sleep with black men” because they’re “so big”…and, as my mom would say, the end of that sentence is “and I’m big enough to manage it.” Woe to the black man who’s not “hung” because that could mean his SQ partner judging him as “not black enough.”
The flip side of this is the assumption that all self-identified black women *must* be SQs because all of us must have had (or must need) black men for lovers, and, thanks to the Big Black Penis myth, wouldn’t even consider a person from another race or ethnicity–let alone another gender!–as a possible partner.
As Carmen Van Kerckhove, the departing publisher of Racialicious says, sexual stereotypes, like all stereotypes, flatten our humanity. If a person prefers certain sizes of penises, that’s cool—but that person isn’t inherently sexually cool because of that preference. To me, the meme of the Size Queen rolls over quite a few people—when the meme itself needs to be flattened for many people’s sake.
Especially not on a trucker hat.